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Counselling or not

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texmongiz

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in the land of make believe livin it large (don't
Hi i am quite new to this site although i have been reading other's posts for a few weeks i finally plucked up the courage to post one::redface:

The thing i am wondering is does counselling really help?

I trained as a counsellor and qualified last year. I had counselling while training and before and although it really helped me at the time every week i felt like i dragged open pandora's box which at the end of an hour i was left to go home and deal with.

I had a very naive view i think that everyone could potentially benefit from counselling. Over the last twelve months i have realised this is not the case.

I trained for a love of what i was doing i never believed i had any of the answers or probed people until they spoke, but i find the more i reflect on it and read it seems it is a very money orintated profession, the people that have passion have huge case loads and bigger waiting lists.

This leads me to think how can this benefit people!!! it seems either a conveyer belt on the NHS, extremely high prices for private or volutary workers that also have the worry of finding funding. Not to mention people that could possible benefit not even getting a look in it almost seems like a lottery.

I am not saying that every counsellor lands in these catergories i think i am interested to hear how others feel about it.

Sorry for waffling:unsure:
 
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nickh

nickh

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Congratulations on your first post :).

The question is rather a big one which gets talked about in lots of ways here. I am sure that counselling does help some people but there are many problems in getting the right counsellor matched with the right person; not only is there the general shortage which you identify, but then some forms of counselling will not benefit some people; sometimes there will be a personality mismatch and so on. It all tends to seem to make the chances of really beneficial counselling low, but I think that where it does all come together it can be fantastically beneficial.

Nick.
 
schiz01

schiz01

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I think having someone to confide in and talk to can be a huge help.It has helped me resolve issues and grow as a person.
 
dib4uk

dib4uk

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I wanted to train as a counsellor- but, i know that i have stuff I need to sort out first before I can listen to others.

Counselling can and does work- but not for all.

My last counselling came to a stop- but if it wasnt for them- no one would hear me.

:redface:
 
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texmongiz

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I definatley agree that the right counsellor has to fit the right person. Again i totally agree it is not for all. I think when people are offered counselling on the NHS they do not always have a choice of the different approaches to counselling, I know they are sometimes offered CBT but there are so many approaches available if only people where informed of their choices.

I have had counselling three times, twice i didn't really find it helpful in sorting out my issues although the talking really helped. The third time was great it opened lots of issues that at the time didn't feel good but on reflection helped me make some come to some big choices in my life.

As for the training dib4uk i think it it shows your awareness of yourself to say your not ready yet, i met lots of people that started the training to resolve their issues in the college setting, and unfortunatley did not complete it as it became overwhelming.

I think the good thing about it is being heard as so often in life people hear us speak but nobody wants to really listen.
 
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Wonky

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I agree with the consensus that counselling can help some people but does not help everyone.

Given the lack of resources in NHS MH services I can't see people being offered a range of counselling/psychotherapy and empowered to make an informed choice about which seems best for them.

texmongiz writes, "I have had counselling three times, twice i didn't really find it helpful in sorting out my issues although the talking really helped. The third time was great it opened lots of issues that at the time didn't feel good but on reflection helped me make some come to some big choices in my life." The problem about the big choices bit is does everyone have the facilities to make big choices - does a single parent on benefit on a council estate have the facility to make certain big choices that would improve the whole way they feel about life? This is one of the problems with counselling/psychotherapy - it gives very little regard to the socio-economic position and background of the client. It places the whole burden on the individual and does not say anything about the impact of social and economic factors. Humans beings don't live in a solipsistic cocoon, they live in the world and are minutely and immensely affected by the world. But you try putting that argument to 99.9% of counsellors and psychotherapists and you'll be wasting your breath - they are theoretically and methodologically unable to take it on board.

The last point indicates how much the counselling/psychotherapy set-up is one where the patient/client enters a space where what is given credit as experience, knowledge and understanding is pre-set by the counsellor/psychotherapist and their particular theoretical paradigm. It is, like so much else, a set-up where the patient/client must, to a significant extent, be passive, submissive and receptive. The fact that you are doing a lot of talking does not necessarily alter this condition, you may be doing a lot of talking which runs down the pathways they approve of and which they have subtly initiated.
 
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texmongiz

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Hi wonky your post really interested me. the big issues in my life may not have been big to anyone else and in my case there were no socio-economic factors, but i see how these things are maybe not always taken into account. As for my history i didn't want someone to have all my history surely having everything there could give a person preconceived ideas before they had even met you, so for me i would rather explain my own history and what i wanted although again i realise this is not for everyone.

The three Counsellors i have seen have all been different with different approaches i understand your point that to a significant extent afew times i had been passive as if almost to the point of game playing but i did feel talking got things off my chest without changing things it felt good to vent. Your right it didn't alter things but surely if you feel a little better after something like that no matter if it is "subtley initiated" or coming from the person it cant always be a bad thing, it's of course a different scenario if it causes a person harm!!
 
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Wonky

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Hi wonky your post really interested me. the big issues in my life may not have been big to anyone else and in my case there were no socio-economic factors, but i see how these things are maybe not always taken into account. As for my history i didn't want someone to have all my history surely having everything there could give a person preconceived ideas before they had even met you, so for me i would rather explain my own history and what i wanted although again i realise this is not for everyone.

The three Counsellors i have seen have all been different with different approaches i understand your point that to a significant extent afew times i had been passive as if almost to the point of game playing but i did feel talking got things off my chest without changing things it felt good to vent. Your right it didn't alter things but surely if you feel a little better after something like that no matter if it is "subtley initiated" or coming from the person it cant always be a bad thing, it's of course a different scenario if it causes a person harm!!
Hi,texmongiz. Not having a go at you, but would just like to respond to a few points.

1) "the big issues in my life may not have been big to anyone else and in my case there were no socio-economic factors, but i see how these things are maybe not always taken into account." I think this indicates where counselling may be useful - where someone has one or two PERSONAL issues, perhaps common relationship problems, and where talking them out gives the person a chance to get a view on things and start thinking. Where counselling is probably of no use is where a person has a real mental illness - including despression and anxiety disorders. Mental health problems need treatment, be that medication and/or lengthier more rigorous psychotherapy. Where the person with mental health problems also has personal and/or socio-economic problems that all needs to be addressed discretely within a programme of treatement.

2) I agree that people should give their own personal history - doctors and MH professionals have a knack for getting things wrong when they refer. However I would say that often there is not enough room in NHS counselling and psychotherapy for the person to say ENOUGH about themselves. I am, frankly, appalled at how psychotherapists think they can help you when they in fact know so little about you. Two, three, twenty sessions talking about the person's childhood and background and life is nowhere near enough. It seems to me that the psychotherapy set-up is virtually always based on partial and SELECTED information - information selected by the patient and information selected by the therapist particularly in the way they will latch on to certain things you say and blank other things. Medication can get away with being particular, i.e. an anti-depressant working on a particular chemical in the brain, psychotherapy can not, it has to be comprehensive. This however is not an argument for years and years of psychoanalysis - psychoanalysis, as far as I can see, has no advantage other psychotherapy apart from the time aspect.

3) "but i did feel talking got things off my chest without changing things it felt good to vent. Your right it didn't alter things but surely if you feel a little better after something like ... it cant always be a bad thing". texmongiz, forgive my bluntness, but people who are in deep sh*t do not need to feel a bit better, they need help to get out of the sh*t. A person with serious problems, be they socio-economic whatever, will not stay feeling a little better for long, the stress they are under will, sooner or later, drive them back down again.

4)"Your right it didn't alter things but surely if you feel a little better after something like that no matter if it is "subtley initiated" or coming from the person it cant always be a bad thing, it's of course a different scenario if it causes a person harm!!" My point would be on what legitimate basis do counsellors/psychotherapists have the right to "subtly initiate" or guide anything - on the basis of unproven ideas and hypotheses (can't use the word theories because that usually requires some amount of objective proof)? I don't feel counsellors and psychotherapists have any better ideas than anyone else.

The final thing I would like to say it that it would be really interesting to have a kind of anthropological study of counselling and psychotherapy, looking at a whole range of things like how the differing status of therapist and client is embedded and maintained, what things seem to dictate what happens in the room with the therapist, etc. My view is that it is naive to think that culture, human politics (with a same "p"), power issues, etc, are not just as alive and well within the counselling/psychotherapy room as anywhere else.
 
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texmongiz

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Hi wonky i love having debates like this rarely are people honest so i'm lovin it(y)

just a few things even though i referred to my issues as maybe not big to anyone else i didn't state it was personal issues counselling, talking has helped me through depression as i didn't want to take tablets. To say it may not be of help if the person has REAL mental illness i feel that unfare to say as were all different and what works for some doesn't for others.

I agree there is not the time given in the NHS to express all your personal history

forgive my bluntness, but people who are in deep sh*t do not need to feel a bit better, they need help to get out of the sh*t. A person with serious problems, be they socio-economic whatever, will not stay feeling a little better for long, the stress they are under will, sooner or later, drive them back down again.


referring to above i can only speak for myself and feeling a litle better for a while is better than feeling crap all the time

I don't believe counsellors have any better ideas than anyone else i do not consider them to have any answers for me, but for me wonky and again i can only speak for myself people i know either try to pacify you, or just don't want to know in the times i saw someone i wasn't spoke down too, i didn't feel intimidated like i did with the doctor, for once i spoke, i was listened too i don't care if the other person initiated anything as i wasn't aware of it and i never spoke of things i didn't want to.

My view is that it is naive to think that culture, human politics (with a same "p"), power issues, etc, are not just as alive and well within the counselling/psychotherapy room as anywhere else.

I totally agree Wonky Not everyone i have met has been ethical from training to placement but i have met some really genuine people too that do what they do to offer an alternative.

I don't know if your interested but the BACP website has lots of things they also do research journal on power imbalances socio ecological differences all the things that can effect the relationship they really are an interesting read.
:redface:
 
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